Saturday, February 28, 2009

Class Saturday at NoBullU on BlogTalkRadio

UPDATE: It is a wrap! The first class at NoBullU on BlogTalkRadio is finished and posted for your listening enjoyment and future reference.

As a follow-up to the meeting to organize the effort and prepare a march on Washington D.C., I will host a live call-in talk show on BlogTalkRadio.

The show will be Saturday, after the meeting, at 2 p.m.

The call-in number is (347) 308-8275.

Check back for updates before the show. And call-in to fresh the tree of liberty.

NoBullU Battle Cry, Time to Refresh Liberty

FINAL UPDATE regarding the meeting at noon, in the Martin Luther King Plaza in downtown Pensacola, FL to organize the effort and prepare a march on Washington D.C., with a target date of April 15, 2009.: The weather looks questionable, but I will be there.

And at 2 p.m., CST there will be a special broadcast of NoBullU on BlogTalkRadio. Join me at this website to continue the effort to refresh liberty.

The call-in number is (347) 308-8275.

(NOTE: I've never used BlogTalkRadio, but I hope it works.)

In a letter to William Stevens Smith, Thomas Jefferson wrote:

"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."

After the actions of the government over the past several months, after reading Obama's 2010 budget proposal, and after learning that the government continues to prop up the Ponzi scheme that is Wall Street, I say that it is time to refresh the tree of liberty.

Please meet me tomorrow (Saturday, February 28, 2009), at noon, in the Martin Luther King Plaza in downtown Pensacola, FL to organize the effort and prepare a march on Washington D.C., with a target date of April 15, 2009.

This will be a peaceful effort, but bring a dollar bill to burn in protest.

Check back for updates, especially in case of inclement weather.

UPDATE: As discussed on the show, we will collect dollar bills for donation to a charitable cause, and burn a sybolic treasury note, the $1,000,000 bill that Mike gave me for the occasion.

REMEMBER to check back Saturday morning and/or listen to CyberSmart Saturday at 11 a.m. on WEBY for further updates, especially in case of inclement weather.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Class Today at NoBullU on WEBY

Listen to the voice of wisdom and reason in a wilderness of partisan rhetoric -- No political insanity, no conservative hypocrisy, no liberal foolishness -- Just straight talk, straight at you, and that’s no bull!!

NoBullU will be on air Friday from 4:05 to 6 p.m. at 1330 AM WEBY and on line, courtesy of Cyber Smart Computers.


Local and state: Prosecute Sansom, he is corrupt, and how NOT to make it "illegal to look under or through a person's clothing," with guest, PNJ reporter Thyrie Bland; and

Nation and international: the government's aiding and abetting the robbery of taxpayers AKA the bailouts and organizing a recall of all politicians, AKA The Peaceful Revolution.

But I'll discuss anything. (Disclaimer: the host reserves the right to end any discussion and hang up on you.)

So tune-in, call-in, but only if you can handle the truth!

Economic Mess for Dummies

Having a hard time understanding the economic mess. In October I tried to explain it with words:

"The bailout doesn't seem to be working. The problem isn’t just $1 trillion in subprime loans, the problem is $62 trillion in credit default swap liability (CDS) for collateral debt obligations (CDOs) [NOTE: it should read collateralized debt obligations] that no one can unravel or value (or even understand).

What is a CDO or CDS? Imagine taking paper debt like mortgages, subprime mortgages, car loans, credit cards loans, and pretty much anything you can imagine. Now combine and mix the paper in a blender, spiking it with worthless rhetorical hyperbole that derivatives are the new paradigm of investments. Then pour the mixture in a pyramid of champagne glasses, to represent the varying levels of return (and risk), with the higher the glass, the lower the return and risk. That represents the CDOs. Now as you sell the mess, insure against the risk of the CDOs decreasing in value with CDSs. Presto, $1 trillion of bad loans is transmuted into $62 trillion in faux wealth. An alchemist would be proud.

That I think is a fair metaphor for the problem, and because of the scope of the problem the Feds don't know what to do."

Now watch the movie version, The Crisis of Credit Visualized:

Good movie, but I think it understates the role of CDSs. The estimates now are that credit default swap liability is nearly $600 trillion!!

UPDATE: Two additional movies, both from from Marketplace Whiteboard. The first, Uncorking CDOs:

The second Untangling credit default swaps:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Republi-Con Fiscal Conservative Hypocrisy

Think about the irony.

On Tuesday, Obama gave a speech about the economic mess and the federal budget, acknowledging that the “day of reckoning has arrived” after years of financial irresponsibility.

The Republi-cons chose Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana, a state that has gotten $130 billion in post-Katrina aid, to try to convince the country that Republi-con ideas will save the country from the economic mess and the last eight years financial irresponsibility that those same ideas created.

Is there no Republi-con shame?

BTW, Jindal's speech, in both form and substance, was a flop.

This from the man that Rusty claims is the next mythical Ronald Reagan.

The Republi-cons are in trouble in 2012 unless they can destroy Obama.

Ergo, the Republi-con jihad to "hope Obama fails."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Congressional Hypocrisy

From Dilbert, wouldn't this be hilarious:

Too funny!

Foobs Yet Again

How many times can American taxpayers be chumps, let us recount the ways, in chronological order:

Bailout and Dividends

Taxpayers are Chumps Cont.

Taxpayers Continue to Be Treated as Chumps

Taxpayers are Foobs

And yet again. Read The New York Times, I Ponied Up for Sheryl Crow?

We foobs let Northern Trust of Chicago, "which got $1.5 billion in bailout money and then laid off 450 workers, flew hundreds of clients and employees to Los Angeles last week and treated them to four days of posh hotel rooms, salmon and filet mignon dinners, music concerts, a PGA golf tournament at the Riviera Country Club with Mercedes shuttle rides and Tiffany swag bags . . . had a lavish dinner at the Ritz Carlton on Wednesday with a concert by Chicago (at a $100,000 fee); rented a private hangar at the Santa Monica Airport on Thursday for another big dinner with a gig by Earth, Wind & Fire, and closed down the House of Blues on Sunset Strip on Saturday (at a cost of $50,000) for a dinner and serenade by Sheryl Crow," stick it to us again.

So, how many time? Not once, not twice, not thrice, but more. (FYI: Once, twice, thrice...what comes next? Nothing comes next, as there are no more terms in this sequence.)

Home Sweet Home

Would the world be a better place without America? Think about it. Then read The New York Times, Paging Uncle Sam.

Since the economic crisis, it has become clear that America plays an important role in the world.

May America be worthy of God's blessing.

What is the Fiscally Responsible Thing to Do?

I've blog before about Republi-Con hypocrisy on federal deficits and debt. But in the mist of the economic mess left by bankrupt Republi-con ideology, what is the fiscally responsible thing to do?

Listen to Robert Reich's thoughts on the matter at NPR, Marketplace, Reducing ratio of debt is the real issue.

I Scream In Honor of Past and Current Presidents

Another email from Mike, General Manager of 1330 AM WEBY:

Ben & Jerry's wanted to create an ice cream flavor in honor of past and current Presidents.

For George W., here are some of their favorite responses:

Grape Depression
The Housing Crunch
Abu Grape
Cluster Fudge
Nut'n Accomplished
Good Riddance You Lousy Motherfucker... Swirl
Iraqi Road
Chock 'n Awe
Impeach Cobbler
Heck of a Job, Brownie!
Neocon Politan
RockyRoad to Fascism
The Reese's-cession
Cookie D'oh!
Nougalar Proliferation
Death by Chocolate... and Torture
Freedom Vanilla Ice Cream
Chocolate Chip On My Shoulder
Credit Crunch
Mission Pecanplished
Country Pumpkin
Chunky Monkey in Chief
Chocolate Chimp
Bloody Sundae
Caramel Preemptive Stripe
I broke the law and am responsible for the deaths of thousands...with nuts

And in honor of the new President:

Baracky Road - - - half chocolate and half vanilla surrounded by fruits and nuts.

Got any humorous suggestions to add to the list.

The NOT Headline: Dumb Politician Has Lost Touch With the Common Man

An email from Mike, General Manager of 1330 AM WEBY, regarding alleged media bias:

"Biden is dumber than McCain.

Remember how the media portrayed McCain as such an idiot for saying "The Google"?

Well now Biden wants to know "The Website Number". Uh, hey, Joe, do you mean "The Web address?"

What an idiot!

I won't hold my breath waiting for media coverage of this blunder.


First, I don't remember that "the media portrayed McCain as such an idiot for saying 'The Google,'" or even the statement by McCain Must have missed that one.

But what would Mike proposes as the headline: "Politician Dumber Than Dirt" or Politician Has Lost Touch With the Common Man?"

Give me a break, that is not news, everyone knows that.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Time to End the Bailout Bull

Time to admit that Wall Street had just become a Ponzi scheme.

Time to kill the zombie banks and other financial institutions.

There isn't enough money in the whole world to save Goldman Sacks, the former firm of former Treasury Secretary Paulson, the focus of an initial bailout proposal that never made sense, beneficiary of over a hundred billion bailout dollars, and then a hundred billion more.

Obama should just say no to more money for AIG and nationalize insolvent banks.

Is Crist a Traitor?

Florida's Gov. Charlie Crist was on McCain's short list for vice president before Palin was picked to be his running mate. Crist is also said to be considering a run for the Senate seat held by Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), and perhaps the White House some day.

Crist isn't make any fans with the rabid Republi-con bunch though.

Week before last he had kind words to say about Obama and the stimulus bill. To Crist, it is not "about partisan politics. It's about rising above that, helping the American people and reigniting our economy."

Now Crist want Obama "to succeed, I want him to do well because I love my country."

Guess he didn't get a copy of Rush's song, 'Barack the Magic Negro,' or the word that the Republi-con position is to "hope Obama fails."

Is Crist a traitor to the Republi-con Taliban-inspired insurgency against America?

Thankfully, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is keeping a list of other traitors to the Republi-con jihad cause.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

BS Watch

Did you get an email like this:

"WOW !!! President Obama reported to the nation this week that there is not one earmark or pork funding in the so-called economic stimulus bill. Pick your state and town and see who is pulling the wool over who."

The web site in the email is You can also find projects by state or territory.

First, I don't deny the stimulus bill contained earmarks.

But is not a list of earmarks in the stimulus bill. The website is a list of "proposed 'shovel-ready'" projects in cities and states. Anyone can submit a project to the list. The state specific list includes "projects the mayors of this state submitted in the 2008 U.S. Conference of Mayors report."

But let me ask, would you prefer the government spend near a trillion dollars without a shopping list?

Only a Republi-con would want that.

Friday, February 20, 2009

No Class Today at NoBullU on WEBY

Usually on Fridays you can listen to me, the voice of wisdom and reason in a wilderness of partisan rhetoric -- no political insanity, no conservative hypocrisy, no liberal foolishness -- just straight talk, straight at you, and that’s no bull!!

But I can't make it today so Ken will substitute. Until the next show, post a comment or two.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Problem, Causes and Professor NoBull's Solution for the Economic Mess

UPDATE: Watch PBS, Frontline, Inside the Meltdown and/or CBS, 60 Minutes, World of Trouble.

What a mess!

The Problem

The problem is two-fold: Main Street and Wall Street.

On Main Street, people are out of work or worried about losing their jobs (government workers excluded) and their assets, including homes and stocks, are losing value.

On Wall Street, it turns out that a substantial part of the financial sector was a fraud so parties can't trust one another. More problematic, the value of assets, particularly collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), are indeterminable. Most credit default swaps (CDSs) are worthless.

(Previously I described CDOs or CDSs? Imagine taking paper debt like mortgages, subprime mortgages, car loans, credit cards loans, and pretty much anything you can imagine. Now combine and mix the paper in a blender, spiking it with worthless rhetorical hyperbole that derivatives are the new paradigm of investments. Then pour the mixture in a pyramid of champagne glasses, to represent the varying levels of return (and risk), with the higher the glass, the lower the risk return and risk. That represents the CDOs. Now as you sell the mess, insure against the risk of the CDOs decreasing in value with CDSs. Presto, $1 trillion of bad loans is transmuted into $62 trillion in faux wealth. An alchemist would be proud.

Since that time, estimates are that there are close to $600 trillion in outstanding CDSs. Whether it is $60 trillion or $600 trillion, the government doesn't have enough money or credit to save zombie banks like Paulson's Goldman Sachs.)

At the center of it all is the declining value of houses. If housing is fixed, many other problems will resolve themselves.

The Cause

The cause is/was greed in an environment of deregulation and oversight failures leading to 'irrational exuberance' and outright fraud. There is plenty of blame to share, the only debatable point is how to apportion the blame.

For more details, read or watch the following:

The New York Times, The Reckoning series,

Washington Post, The Crash: What Went Wrong?

Village Voice, What Cooked the World's Economy,

Barry Ritholtz, The Big Picture, Bailout Nation,

CNBC, House of Cards, Global Economic Collapse, and

Time, 25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis,

Personally, I think the Republi-con party's reckless faith in markets and war against the middle class are the fundamental causes of the economic crisis. To repeat a previous post:

"Read The New York Times, Six Errors on the Path to the Financial Crisis. According the writer, the six errors, in chronologically order, omitting mistakes that became clear only in hindsight, and limiting to those where prominent voices advocated a different course at the time, were:

"WILD DERIVATIVES In 1998, when Brooksley E. Born, then chairwoman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, sought to extend its regulatory reach into the derivatives world, top officials of the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission squelched the idea. While her specific plan may not have been ideal, does anyone doubt that the financial turmoil would have been less severe if derivatives trading had acquired a zookeeper a decade ago?

SKY-HIGH LEVERAGE The second error came in 2004, when the S.E.C. let securities firms raise their leverage sharply. Before then, leverage of 12 to 1 was typical; afterward, it shot up to more like 33 to 1. What were the S.E.C. and the heads of the firms thinking? Remember, under 33-to-1 leverage, a mere 3 percent decline in asset values wipes out a company. Had leverage stayed at 12 to 1, these firms wouldn’t have grown as big or been as fragile.

A SUBPRIME SURGE The next error came in stages, from 2004 to 2007, as subprime lending grew from a small corner of the mortgage market into a large, dangerous one. Lending standards fell disgracefully, and dubious transactions became common. Why wasn’t this insanity stopped? There are two answers, and each holds a lesson. One is that bank regulators were asleep at the switch. Entranced by laissez faire-y tales, they ignored warnings from those like Edward M. Gramlich, then a Fed governor, who saw the problem brewing years before the fall. The other answer is that many of the worst subprime mortgages originated outside the banking system, beyond the reach of any federal regulator. That regulatory hole needs to be plugged.

FIDDLING ON FORECLOSURES The government’s continuing failure to do anything large and serious to limit foreclosures is tragic. The broad contours of the foreclosure tsunami were clear more than a year ago — and people like Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Sheila C. Bair, chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, were sounding alarms. Yet the Treasury and Congress fiddled while homes burned. Why? Free-market ideology, denial and an unwillingness to commit taxpayer funds all played roles. Sadly, the problem should now be much smaller than it is.

LETTING LEHMAN GO The next whopper came in September, when Lehman Brothers, unlike Bear Stearns before it, was allowed to fail. Perhaps it was a case of misjudgment by officials who deemed Lehman neither too big nor too entangled — with other financial institutions — to fail. Or perhaps they wanted to make an offering to the moral-hazard gods. Regardless, everything fell apart after Lehman. People in the market often say they can make money under any set of rules, as long as they know what they are. Coming just six months after Bear’s rescue, the Lehman decision tossed the presumed rule book out the window. If Bear was too big to fail, how could Lehman, at twice its size, not be? If Bear was too entangled to fail, why was Lehman not? After Lehman went over the cliff, no financial institution seemed safe. So lending froze, and the economy sank like a stone. It was a colossal error, and many people said so at the time.

TARP’S DETOUR The final major error is mismanagement of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the $700 billion bailout fund. As I wrote here last month, decisions of Henry M. Paulson Jr., the former Treasury secretary, about using the TARP’s first $350 billion were an inconsistent mess. Instead of pursuing the TARP’s intended purposes, he used most of the funds to inject capital into banks — which he did poorly."

Note that with the exception of the first error, they all occurred under Bush. Senior "Clinton administration officials, including Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers, joined by the Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan, and Arthur Levitt Jr., the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, issued a report that instead recommended legislation exempting many kinds of derivatives from federal oversight." Republi-con Senator Phil Gramm was only too happy to help pass, in the Republi-con-controlled Senate and House, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which deregulated credit default swaps, the real cause of this economic collapse.

And a historical not-so footnote, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act included the so-called "Enron loophole," which exempts most over-the-counter energy trades and trading on electronic energy commodity markets. The "loophole" was drafted by lobbyists for Enron working with Gramm to create a deregulated atmosphere for their new experiment, "Enron On-line." You might also recall that Gramm's wife, Wendy Lee Gramm, was on the board of directors of Enron when it collapsed.

So remember this as you listen to the newly self-righteous Republi-cons praise the false gods of less taxes and less government, they are largely responsible for the mess, they have no, zero, zilch, nadda credibility with me, and I haven't heard a better idea from them yet. Have you?"

The cause was certainly not Carter and the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977. Only a Republi-con would tell you otherwise.

The Solution

Who knows, a Japanese proverb states: "An inch ahead is darkness." Pretty prophetic for this situation.

The solution certainly is not a repeat of Hoover's initial response to the Great Depression.

But history does offer some guidance, Roosevelt's New Deal, the S & L Crisis in the late 1980s,

(Historical footnote: Neil Bush, son of then Vice President of the United States George H. W. Bush, was Director of the Silverado Savings and Loan, which collapsed in 1988, costing taxpayers $1.3 billion.)

Japan's banking crisis and subsequent 'lost decade,' and Sweden's banking crisis.

In a previous post in early October I suggested:

The 1929 depression offers a valuable lesson. A recent article in Time, Are Paulson and Bernanke Running Out of Options? states that:

"After the 1929 collapse, which at its worst left a quarter of the workforce jobless, the U.S. instituted safeguards to ensure liquidity, confidence and trust in the U.S. financial system. There were four pillars: insuring the bank deposits of everyday Americans, allowing access to government funds in case of a panic, providing a regime for the orderly failure of badly run companies and limiting how much credit could be leveraged off a particular asset."

The government should do the same now, defend depository institutions and provide a regime for the orderly failure of badly run non-depository financial institutions and insurance companies. In the process the government and the public will have to make some tough choices and learn to live within a budget.

In addition to that I would set short and long term objectives:

In the short-term:

In the long term:
  • Regulatory, organizational, and tax reform as I have described in the past as GRAC,
  • Reduce/cut all government salaries, assistance payments, etc. by 10% of the first $100,000/year and 50% thereafter,
  • Reduce all retirement and disability payments by 30%.
  • A $1/gallon gas tax,
  • An Incompetence Tax, and
  • Ban the Democratic and Republican parties from future office.

OK, the last measure might require a Constitutional amendment, but I can dream can't I.

This is a work in progress., your suggestions are welcome.

Deadly Republi-Con Ideology

Q: How are the Republi-con party and Peanut Corporation of America the same?
A: They are both bankrupt and deadly, and neither will accept responsibility for its actions.

Have a little peanut butter with that Republi-con deregulation ideology:

And remember it was the Republi-con party that got us into this mess:

Not So Funny Humor About the Stimulus

From the Internet:

"Sometime this year, taxpayers will receive an Economic Stimulus Payment. This is a very exciting new program that I will explain using the Q and A format:

Q. What is an Economic Stimulus Payment?
A. It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.

Q. Where will the government get this money?
A. From taxpayers.

Q. So the government is giving me back my own money?
A. No, they are borrowing it from China. Your children are expected to repay the Chinese.

Q. What is the purpose of this payment?
A. The plan is that you will use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.

Q. But isn’t that stimulating the economy of China ?
A. Shut up.

Below is some helpful advice on how to best help the US economy by spending your stimulus check wisely:

If you spend that money at Wal-Mart, all the money will go to China.
If you spend it on gasoline it will go to Hugo Chavez, the Arabs and Al Queda
If you purchase a computer it will go to Taiwan.
If you purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala (unless you buy organic).
If you buy a car it will go to Japan and Korea.
If you purchase prescription drugs it will go to India
If you purchase heroin it will go to the Taliban in Afghanistan
If you give it to a charitable cause, it will go to Nigeria.

And none of it will help the American economy. We need to keep that money here in America. You can keep the money in America by spending it at yard sales, going to a baseball game, or spend it on prostitutes, beer (domestic only), or tattoos, since those are the only businesses still in the US."

This would be funny if it wasn't true.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Class Today at NoBullU on WEBY

Listen to the voice of wisdom and reason in a wilderness of partisan rhetoric -- No political insanity, no conservative hypocrisy, no liberal foolishness -- Just straight talk, straight at you, and that’s no bull!!

NoBullU will be on air Friday from 4:05 to 6 p.m. at 1330 AM WEBY and on line, courtesy of Cyber Smart Computers.


Local and state: TBD, and

Nation and international: Who is to blame for the economic mess, the proposed stimulus plan, and Valentine's Day, is it a day for love or commerce.

And call in to tell me your story of long lost love.

But I'll discuss anything. (Disclaimer: the host reserves the right to end any discussion and hang up on you.)

So tune-in, call-in, but only if you can handle the truth!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Neo-Roosevelters Unite

Time to unite against the Neo-Hoovers. Read about Herbert Hoover and his initial response to the Great Depression.

Then read The New York Times, Escaping the Bust Bowl.

To be discussed during class at NoBullU tomorrow.

Til then.

Examples of Republi-Con Statesmanship

So many examples of Republi-con statesmanship, so little time. Here are a few:

Republi-con patriotism:

Republi-con bipartisanship:

Republi-con frugality:

Republi-con playfulness:

Republi-con principles:

With countrymen like Republi-cons, who needs enemies.

Humor Test for Valentine's Day

Who needs roses or candy this Valentine's Day, show her how much you love her with this gag:

Of course, before you play this trick on your loved one, you might want to know that the name of the video is: Why husbands die first.

If you live, come back and tell us how she liked it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Republi-Con Hypocrisy on Federal Deficits and Debt

REPOSTED: First posted in January. Reposted in response to Joe's op-ed in the Pensacola New Journal, Can't keep spending money we don't have.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case it is an animated editorial cartoon. See Washington Post, What Was That About Burdening Kids?

On the day Bush took office, the National Debt stood at $5,727.776.738,304.64. That's about $5.7 trillion dollars if you take away $27+ billion. Now, as Bush prepares to leave office the national debt is over $10 trillion. Here is a nice graph showing the national debt as a percent of gross domestic product:

And Republi-cons would have you believe that they are the fiscal conservatives!!

UPDATE: At the risk of offending drunken sailors:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

There's a Naive-ocrat Born Every Minute

"There's a sucker born every minute" is a phrase often credited to P.T. Barnum, an American showman. It is generally taken to mean that there are (and always will be) a lot of gullible people in the world. And these suckers must all be Democrats.

John McCain calls the stimulus bill is 'generational theft.' But remember that in October he voted for a bank bailout, calling it a "rescue effort not just for Wall Street but for Main Street," which was used to pay dividends to shareholders and bonuses to employees.

Such hypocrisy.

It is clear that the Republi-cons, who are largely responsible for the economic mess (beginning about the sixth paragraph), want the Naive-ocrats to take the blame for the stimulus bill. The Republi-cons see it as a win-win, and Obama is stupid enough to play along. Even if the stimulus bill works, Republi-cons will claim it was coincidence and say that the government should stay out of the markets.

The Naive-ocrats should demand that Republi-cons accept responsibility for the mess they created, and vote against the current bill. Then wait until the Republi-cons agree to cooperate.

When economic circumstances deteriorate more, the Republi-cons will concede. Then craft a sensible stimulus package.

What is sensible? Coming soon, the NoBullU economic stimulus proposal.

UPDATE: See this animated editorial cartoon, : Washington Post, McCain's Theft.

The Republi-Con Cult

Couldn't have said it better myself with a thousand words.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Republi-Con Jihad Against America

Constructive criticism is great. Goodness knows the stimulus bill is a mess.

But the Republi-cons want America to fail. Rusty said it.

And the Republi-con's role model for their 'insurgency,' the Taliban.

As the Dallas Morning News said in an article titled Sessions' call for GOP 'insurgency' draws fire: "Dallas Rep. Pete Sessions, the leader of the GOP's House campaign arm, compared the party to the terrorist-supporting Afghan group in an interview with the Hotline, a Washington political newsletter. He was trying to describe the Republicans' strategy for the 2010 midterm elections."

In the interview, Sessions said:

"Insurgency, we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban, and that is that they went about systematically understanding how to disrupt and change a person's entire processes."

It seems that the Republi-cons are determined to destroy the country, whether they run Washington or not.

Republi-Cons Find Religion Regarding Fiscal Discipline

Forgetting what they said in the past, Republi-cons debate the stimulus bill:

Isn't it refreshing to see such fiscal discipline now that the Republi-cons are the minority party. Makes one wonder why any God-fearing conservative would want to put them in charge again.

Republi-Con Hypocrisy Regarding Accountability for Possible Future Terrorist Attacks

Ignoring his own responsibility, Cheney lets everyone know that Obama will be responsible if there's another terrorist attack:

Fear, anger, and hatred, the Republi-con Party's best hope for America's future.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Will Obama Be a Great Republican President, Time for the NoBull Party

I always said that Bush was a great Democratic president, in the sense that he was a great president for the Democratic party.

It turns out that Obama may be a great president for the Republican party, as evidenced by his administrations first two weeks in office. First the Daschle debacle, as described in The New York Times, Republicans Seize on Nominees’ Tax Problems:

"[T]he succession of Obama nominees who failed to pay all of their taxes handed the Republicans a simple, powerful and possibly enduring argumentin future tax debates. “It is easy for the other side to advocate for higher taxes,” Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House Republican whip, told a party retreat last weekend, “because you know what? They don’t pay them.”That’s become a common refrain in conservative circles in recent days:

Senator Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican, on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday: “I can see now why liberals don’t mind if the tax rate goes up, because they’re not going to pay it anyway.”

Roger Hedgecock, a California radio talk show host, on “Lou Dobbs Tonight” on CNN: “It came down to a situation where the American public realized the Democrats who always want to raise taxes on people didn’t want to particularly pay the taxes on people.”

Sean Hannity on his Fox News Channel talk show: “I guess the reason Democrats want to raise taxes, use class warfare, attack corporations is because they take everyone else’s money and redistribute it. But they themselves don’t pay taxes, so there’s no reason for them to worry about tax increases, right?”"

Now a messy stimulus bill for an economic mess, which has empowered the Republi-cons (who as I say again are largely at fault for this mess), as described in The New York Times, The Gang System:

"Barack Obama is a potentially transformational figure. In political style and intellectual outlook, he is unlike anything that has come before. On matters of policy substance, however, he’s been pretty conventional. The policies he offered during the campaign matched those of just about every other Democrat.

So an important question for the Obama presidency is this: Will his transformational style eventually lead to transformational policies, or will his conventional policies eventually force him to shelve his transformational style?

In the first major episode of his administration, the stimulus package, the conventional policies so far have won. The Obama administration sent a series of stimulus principles to Capitol Hill and allowed the Old Bulls in the House and Senate to write legislation. They produced sprawling bills that gathered dozens of traditional liberal ideas. The resulting bills would have been no different if Nancy Pelosi had been elected president, or Harry Reid, or any other conventional Democrat.

The substance of the legislation set up the polarized debate that followed. Liberal interest groups were happy. Conservative Republicans were united in opposition. But something interesting happened this week. The momentum of the debate was set by moderates. Conservative protests wouldn’t have amounted to much without nagging moderate unease."

I think the two major parties have pretty much shown us the limits of form and fluff, and after Iraq and the economy, the lack of substance.

I think it is time for the NoBull Party. Want to join me?

Incompetence Tax

Great idea from The New York Times, Please Raise My Taxes

"This week, President Obama proposed imposing a $500,000 compensation cap on companies seeking a bailout. It’s a terrible idea. We all want the taxpayers’ money returned, and capping compensation at bailout recipients will just make it that much harder for those boards to hire and hold on to the executives who can lead their companies to compete and thrive.

Perhaps a starting place for “tax, not shame” would be creating a top federal marginal tax rate of 50 percent on all income above $1 million per year. Some will tell you that would reduce the incentive to earn but I don’t see that as likely. Besides, half of a giant compensation package is still pretty huge, and most of our motivation is the sheer challenge of the job anyway.

Instead of trying to shame companies and executives, the president should take advantage of our success by using our outsized earnings to pay for the needs of our nation."

Which gave me the idea for the incompetent tax. When the government needs a lot of money to bailout an industry, tax the executives in that industry to pay for the bailout, and provide for a retroactive application of the tax.

In other words, you break it, you buy it (or fix it in this case).

P.S. Sometimes a little humor helps make a point:

Friday, February 6, 2009

NoBullU Battle Cry

This is an urgent battle cry for all NoBullU readers and listeners:

Repeat after me: The stimulus package should be timely, targeted, and temporary. Instead, it is a sprawling, undisciplined smorgasbord of pent-up partisan fantasies, therefore I will not support it.

Instead I urge my Congressman or Senator, and to support the Fix Housing First Act, as revised by McConnell and Alexander to provide new and refinanced mortgages for 4%. (The original Fix Housing First Act does not include this revision.)

Repeat if necessary, then contact that worthless Congressman or Senator, and tell him/her.

This would stimulate consumer spending.

P.S. The banks should also be nationalized.

P.P.S. Tax cuts are not the answer for this economic mess. In fact, Congress should pass my proposed tax increase, the Incompetence Tax, as part of the stimulus bill.

For Republi-cons who think differently, consider this:

Republi-cons got us into this mess:

Different problems require different solutions:

This sums it up well:

Although if it helps, think of the proposal to provide new and refinanced mortgages for 4% as a tax cut.

P.P.P.S. Finally, for those who think we should do nothing, it could get a lot worse. Think Iceland.

Class Today at NoBullU on WEBY

Listen to the voice of wisdom and reason in a wilderness of partisan rhetoric -- No political insanity, no conservative hypocrisy, no liberal foolishness -- Just straight talk, straight at you, and that’s no bull!!

NoBullU will be on air Friday from 4:05 to 6 p.m. at 1330 AM WEBY and on line, courtesy of Cyber Smart Computers.


Local and state: Prosecute Sansom, and

Nation and international: The economic mess left by the Republi-cons and the proposed stimulus plan (Dr. Dennis F. Paulaha, Ph.D., is scheduled to be a guest to discuss the status of the bailout effort, his original plan to Remortgage America, and Senate Republican leader McConnell's latest proposal, the 'Fix Housing First Act') .

But I'll discuss anything. (Disclaimer: the host reserves the right to end any discussion and hang up on you.)

So tune-in, call-in, but only if you can handle the truth!

Told Ya So, Remortgage America

UPDATE : On Friday's show Dr. Dennis F. Paulaha, Ph.D., is scheduled to be a guest to discuss the status of the bailout effort, his original plan to Remortgage America, and Senate Republican leader McConnell's latest proposal, the 'Fix Housing First Act.' Tune-in.
UPDATE II: The idea is catching on. Listen or read NPR, Housing Fix? Republicans Push For 4 Percent Loans

So contact your Congressman or Senator, and tell him/her to support the Fix Housing First Act, as revised by McConnell and Alexander to provide new and refinanced mortgages for 4%. (The original Fix Housing First Act does not include this revision.)

Do it now, before Congress wastes more of your tax dollars on the Wall Street Ponzi scheme.

Just do it, NOW.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, is proposing cheap, government-backed mortgages to stimulate the economy. "Under the 'Fix Housing First Act' -- an amendment spearheaded by both McConnell and Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee -- new and refinanced mortgages would be available to homeowners for 4 to 4.5 percent. "

Say, didn't we discuss that idea - six weeks ago! That's right, I blogged about it on December 12, 2008, and called Mike (who substituted for me that Friday) to discuss the idea on air. I think I called again the next Monday. I had Dennis F. Paulaha, Ph.D., who was a spokesperson for the idea to remortgage America as a guest for the better part of the program the following Friday, December 19, 2008.

The Remortgage America proposal was a little different, the original plan was for the government to offer every U.S. citizen a 30-year mortgage at a 1½% fixed rate of interest. But the idea was the same, lower mortgage payments.

The reason it was and is a great idea: the plan is simple and fair, nearly everyone who owns or want to buy a house benefits. (Some people are beyond help.)

But Paulaha's best argument: "It is better than what Washington politicians are doing now." Couldn't argue with that and still can't.

Can anybody explain why this plan is worse than the current effort that is pissing money down that rathole called Wall Street.

"Companies that have gotten bailouts continue to make a mockery of taxpayers.

Until it came to light Tuesday, Wells Fargo, which received $25 billion in federal funds, was blithely planning a series of “employee recognition outings” to Las Vegas luxury hotels this month.

As ABC reported, Bank of America took its $45 billion in bailout funds and sponsored a five-day carnival outside the Super Bowl stadium, and Morgan Stanley took its $10 billion in bailout money and held a three-day conference at the Breakers in Palm Beach. (Morgan Stanley had also still planned to send top employees to Monte Carlo and the Bahamas, events just canceled.)

The New York Post revealed that Sandy Weill, former chief executive of Citigroup, took a company jet to fly his family for a Christmas holiday to a $12,000-a-night luxury resort in San José del Cabo, Mexico. No matter that the company just got a $50 billion federal bailout and laid off 53,000 worldwide.

The interior of the 18-seat jet, as described by The Post, is posh, with a full bar, fine-wine selection, $13,000 carpets, Baccarat crystal glasses, Cristofle sterling silver flatware and — my personal favorite — pillows made from Hermès scarves."

I agree with Paula: for "the first time in the entire 'recovery' debate, American politicians are talking about lowering mortgage rates and fixing the economy by putting people first."

Contact your Congressman or Senator, and tell him/her to support the Fix Housing First Act, as revised by McConnell and Alexander to provide new and refinanced mortgages for 4 to 4.5%. (The original Fix Housing First Act does not include this revision.)

P.S. Somebody should pay me for this, I prefer gold until further notice.

It's the Consumers, Stupid

Consumer Spending accounts for 70% of economic activity in the U.S. The meaning of that fact can be depicted in different ways. Here are some, FlowingData, 9 Ways to Visualize Consumer Spending.

Here is another, using the growth of Target Stores over time:

There has been a substantial decline in consumer spending, and unless something is done, it will only get worse.

Stop wasting money on the bankrupt banks.

It's the consumers, stupid.

P.S. What's a stupid politician? A tautology.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Got ED, You Need Stimulu$

Got ED (economic dysfunction that is), you need to watch Walt Handelsman's animated editorial cartoon, Stimulu$.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Just Another Politician

Change, ethics in government, a promise to "close the revolving door on former and future employers." Obama for change, Obama for hope. It was all just political BS.

Tim Geithner should not have been nominated or confirmed as Treasury Secretary.

And Tom Daschle should not have been nominated, and should not be confirmed, as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The only change was the party.

BTW, here is a joke on the value of BS:

A turkey was chatting with a bull.

"I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree" sighed the turkey, "but I haven't got the energy."

"Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?" replied the bull. "They're packed with nutrients."

The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree.

The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch.

Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree.

He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.

Moral of the story: BS might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there.

Obama has made it to the top, but political BS won't keep him there.

And a little editorial humor:

Maybe we should all file our tax returns with a promise to pay any tax due when appointed by Obama to a high paying position in his administration. Think that would work? (WARNING, the previous statement was made in jest. If you think otherwise, you must be a Naive-ocrat.)

UPDATE: Another nominee with tax problems. Read the Washington Post, Obama's Choice for Chief Performance Officer Withdraws Name. Maybe that's why I didn't get the call from Obama, I don't have any tax problems, knock on wood.

Seriously though, I think this last one is best, because Dashle's efforts to subvert lobbying regulations and laws to make $5M+ off his Senate contacts was much worse than not paying the taxes.

UPDATE: He is history. Daschle withdrew his name for HHS Secretary. But it was good for a few laughs:

Jay Leno: "Today, Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination for secretary of health and human services after being forced to pay $128,000 in back taxes." Daschle "was extremely upset because now it looks like he paid his taxes for nothin'! . . . And tax problems for another Obama nominee. Nancy Killefer has withdrawn her nomination as White House chief performance officer. Not only did she not pay her taxes, she had a tax lien put on her house by the government. Where is Obama getting these nominees? Old episodes of 'Cops'?"

David Letterman: "Tom Daschle has withdrawn his cabinet nomination because he had some tax problems. Forgot about $150,000. ... Remember the old days," when "politicians got in trouble for having sex with pages." Those days seem "pretty sweet now, don't they?"

Stephen Colbert: "Now I was afraid the Obama administration was going to be tough, because of the whole 'mandate to govern' and high approval ratings. But Daschle folded like an origami tax form that you 'forgot to fill out.' If this were the Bush administration, he would never have stepped down -- not without a Medal of Freedom."

UPDATE II: The Republi-cons are upset:


Attention Soldiers, Sailors, Airman, Marines, Veterans, and family members. In honor of those comrades who have given their lives in service to the country, watch Taking Chances.


Save the World, and Have Fun Too

Concerned about global warming. Save the world, and have fun too. Buy the Persu Hybrid.

It is said to have a fuel economy of 75 mpg and a top speed of over 100 mph (160 km/h for you metric nuts).

(I couldn't embed the videos, but watch them and you'll know what I mean.)

Honey, I want one of these.

I wonder if Al will buy one and give up the private jets and limos.

Happy Ending for ACLU Lawsuit?

As a follow-up to a post yesterday, Is the Rally for the Constitution, or Religion.

The churches are happy, the students are happy, the school is happy, and the ACLU is happy. Sounds like they had a rally to celebrate religion AND the Constitution yesterday in Pace.

Isn’t it a great day when the government follows the Constitution.

Superbowl, and Super Ads

Good game, almost as good as the ads this year.

Which ad was your favorite?

You can watch them all at, after you watch a short ad of course.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Picture Story

Like Egyptian hieroglyphs, here is a story told in editorial cartoons. Can you guess what is said?

Give up. The story told by these recent editorial cartoons is:

Obama is sincere and wants to help. But he is a little, alright, a lot naive.

The Republi-cons are hypocrites and hope only that he fails.

With a government like this, the rest of us are the losers.

Republi-Con Myth Busters

On the the last show, a caller made a comment that American corporations pay the second highest tax rate in the world. The another caller, Julia I think, countered that the claim was false and referred me to a study by the Government Accountability Office regarding the tax burden of of U.S. corporations, which I posted as a show link.

Touché Julia.

She then wanted to respond to another Republi-con myth but time was short. So Julia left a comment and said:

Here's another myth to bust, the one claiming that basically the government caused the sub-prime melt down by Forcing good old American financial institutions to lend money in poor neighborhoods. I really love this myth because it serves to put the blame simultaneously on the boogy man GOVernment AND POOR PEOPLE AT THE SAME TIME!! How often does that opportunity present itself??

What a shame that neither of these is true.

Here is a link to the full article along with a thumbnail sketch of it:

Hannity baselessly blamed Democrats, CRA for financial crisis

Summary: Sean Hannity baselessly asserted that "[t]he federal government and the Democrats ... forced these banks, through the Community Reinvestment Act, to make these risky loans," adding, "The risky loans started the subprime mortgage crisis, which impacted all these financial institutions, which needed government bailouts." In fact, according to housing experts, the vast majority of subprime loans were made by independent lenders not covered by the CRA.

Julia's post gave me the idea to start the Republi-Con Myth Buster. So here is the first in an occasional posting titled as such.

The false Republi-con premise: Democrats and the Community Reinvestment Act are responsible for the current financial crisis.

The truth:

Democrats are not responsible for the current financial crisis (beginning about the sixth paragraph).

The Community Reinvestment Act is not responsible for the current financial crisis, it was the Republi-con worship of excessive deregulation and Bush.

Two myths slain.

Remember, how can you tell if a Republi-con is lying? His/her lips are moving.